To Win the Minds of Men: The Story of the Communist Propaganda War in East Germany

To Win the Minds of Men: The Story of the Communist Propaganda War in East Germany

To Win the Minds of Men: The Story of the Communist Propaganda War in East Germany

To Win the Minds of Men: The Story of the Communist Propaganda War in East Germany

Excerpt

I recall reading a particularly striking slogan in the late George Orwell's biting analogy on Communism, Animal Farm. The pigs, who represented the party bosses, had painted on the side of a barn:

"ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS."

This, it occurred to me, was perfect. Indeed, so excellent that there could be no real-life parallel. But I had underestimated the East German propagandists. For two weeks later, I was driving through East Berlin and noticed a huge banner draped along the side of a building which said:

"WE MUST HAVE PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP WITH ALL NATIONS, ESPECIALLY THE SOVIET UNION."

This, followed to its logical conclusion, means that "We must have less peace and less friendship with other nations than with the Soviet Union."

However, all the efforts of the East German regime have not been as comical, since its purpose is quite simple: to change the very consciousness of the 17,900,000 persons living in the Soviet Zone. To accomplish such a momentous task, East Germany, like all Communist lands, has had to enlist every resource at its command. Consequently, this book must treat not only the various media, but also the areas of education, the justice system, culture, and agitation. To do less would be like writing a biography of Benjamin Franklin and limiting his achievement to his capturing electricity from the clouds.

A background chapter on East Germany has been included, as it is necessary, I believe, to understand this . . .

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